Get guidelines that will empower you to seamlessly integrate stock photography into your Instagram Threads strategy.
As social media continues to evolve, new platforms like Threads offer unique opportunities for communicating with your audience and growing your brand. However, it can be difficult to adjust your content strategy and find new ways to combine both text and visual content.
In this installment of our Best Practices series, we’ll dive into guidelines that will empower you to supercharge your impact by integrating stock photography into Instagram’s latest app, Threads.
What Is Threads by Instagram?
New to the Threads platform? Threads is a social media app that merges the text-centric nature of Twitter with the visual appeal of Instagram. Launched on July 5, 2023, Threads has already garnered more than 100 million sign-ups.
Threads provides a fresh space for real-time updates and public conversations you can combine your thoughts with compelling images to bring your story to life. This is key as content discovery on the platform is different from others.
On Threads, there’s one feed that pulls in a mixture of content from accounts you follow and trending posts. Users have less opportunity to directly curate their feed, but that opens the door for brands to get more eyes on their posts.
If time constraints or budget limitations are a concern for you as you jump into another social media platform, stock photos are an excellent resource. Stock image libraries offer the professional quality and range you need to enhance any narrative and grab attention.
Can You Use Stock Photography on Threads?
Using third-party content on Threads is a fair concern for brands. Trust that you can incorporate stock photos into your content strategy, when licensed properly.
Understanding the Power of Stock Photography for Threads
When creating content for Threads, you may find that your own photo library doesn’t cover the breadth of your needs. This is where stock photography comes in—especially as Threads is less geared toward personal photography and more toward quick reactions and commentary.
Supplementing your own images can instantly elevate your Threads presence with humorous, relevant, or eye-catching imagery—making it more engaging and visually appealing.
4 Best Practices for Using Stock Photos on Threads
Posting stock photos on Threads opens doors to creativity, but that’s just the beginning. To truly elevate your presence, you have to understand the art of using them effectively.
Use these tips to help your Threads shine.
1. Complement Your Captions
When selecting stock images, consider how they align with your text to create a cohesive and powerful message. A great Threads post is more than the sum of its parts.
Let’s say you’re promoting a new brand that focuses on accessories. You’ll want to ensure that the images reflect the diversity of the audience you’re speaking to and the messages in your written copy.
License this photo image via Artie Medvedev.
2. Learn the (Sizing) Rules—and Know When to Deviate
On Threads, images can reach a maximum height of 1,424 pixels. A 3:4 ratio works best (it’ll give you the greatest number of pixels), so the largest display size you would want to use is 1,070 pixels wide by 1,424 pixels tall. Post anything larger, and it’ll be resized once live on the platform.
That said, Threads is a young platform and users are still writing the rules. Have fun and experiment. Embrace this flexibility: square, landscape, portrait, photos, videos, or GIFs—the choice is yours and the options are limitless with Shutterstock’s massive library.
License this photo image via Martirosyan Stock.
3. Have Fun with Memes
Want a shot at going viral? Use stock images as a jumping-off point to create your own memes. Memes are an excellent choice for fast-paced Threads, a platform that embraces humor and observation over highly-curated feeds.
Imagine you’re a coffee brand that wants to generate buzz (pun intended!). Your Thread could capture the different stages of the morning ritual.
If you’re a food brand, poking fun at the overused trope of women smiling while eating salad could do the trick.
License this photo image via simplystocker.
4. Know When Less Is More
Threads empowers brands to elevate their storytelling with the choice between posting a single photo or a full gallery of photos.
A travel brand might use multiple images to inspire wanderlust and appeal to a wide range of travelers. However, if you’re promoting a single destination, including just one photo could be enough.
You’re just getting started, so embrace the newness and don’t be afraid to play with all the photo options!
*Need help speeding up the content creation process while sticking to established best practices? Try these professionally designed Thread templates.
How to Increase Threads Engagement with Stock Photos
Having great images is a starting point, but how you use them can make all the difference. These ideas will help you create content that leaves a lasting impression on your followers, encourage engagement, and boost your reach.
Embrace Visual Storytelling
Just because you have the option to use text and images doesn’t mean you always need them. Ask if both are essential. (Hint: If they’re saying the exact same thing, they may not be!)
When you do apply written content and images, the text and visuals shouldn’t repeat the same information. Instead, you should provide different perspectives or layers of understanding of the concept.
For example, a natural skincare line could show a photo of vibrant, fresh botanical ingredients like berries, herbs, and flowers to help users understand what goes into product development, as opposed to only showing a packaging bottle.
Create a Compelling Mix of Content
On Threads, posts have a 500-character limit and can include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length. When you use stock images to supplement your strategy, consider smart ways to combine them with other elements.
For example, you may choose a longer text post with stock images when you want to provide information (Think: A news article). The additional characters provide room for more context.
On the other hand, a single stock image and shorter caption-style text with a link is ideal when you want to direct the audience to a specific action or page.
Use the Instagram Stories Integration
One of the standout features of Threads is its integration with Instagram Stories. After creating a post on Threads, share it directly to your Instagram Stories to expand its reach.
This approach allows you to boost engagement and get even more use out of the stock images you purchase.
It’s Time to Thrive on Threads with Stock Images
It’s your turn to create visual narratives that leave a lasting impression. You can transform your Threads into visual masterpieces by using stock photos and the knowledge you gained in this guide to maximize your impact.
Plus, if you found this post helpful, stay tuned for our next installment in this series about using stock photography on posters.
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